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CHINA BRIEF | 58.com receives buyout proposal from private equity firm Ocean Link

The board of online classifieds marketplace 58.com plans to evaluate the proposed transaction.

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China’s largest online classifieds marketplace, 58.com (NYSE: WUBA), announced Thursday that its board of directors has received and is evaluating a non-binding proposal to acquire all of its outstanding shares, according to a press release of the company.

China-based private equity (PE) firm Ocean Link Partners Limited, the potential buyer, has offered to pay USD 27.5 in cash per Class A or Class B ordinary share, or USD 55 per American depositary share (ADS), which represents an 18% premium over the firm’s last closing price of USD 46.7 per share.

Following the announcement, shares in the company closed at USD 52.76 on Thursday, up 13% compared with one day before. Its market capitalization stood at about USD 7.9 billion.

Ocean Link intends to fund the transactions primarily with its equity capital and that of other additional members in a consortium to be formed, and possibly debt capital.

The travel-focused PE firm, established in early 2016, mainly invests in the tourism industry in China, including hotels, resorts, online and offline operators, and transportation services. It made a strategic partnership in 2016 with China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip, and equity firm General Atlantic.

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This article is part of KrASIA’s “China Brief” section, where KrASIA’s reporters will provide quick daily updates about the tech ecosystem in China.